Lake Erie College is expanding our Therapeutic Riding Program. Single sessions are offered during Fall and Spring semesters with multiple session options available during the summer months.
Lake Erie College is a PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center.
What is Therapeutic Horsemanship?
Equine-assisted activities dedicated to development of cognitive, emotional, physical and social skills. Activities include; grooming, leading and riding horses. These activities are done under the supervision of a Certified Instructor.
Children ages 8-14 weighing under 150 lbs with developmental disabilities. Children looking to improve problem-solving skills, independence, emotional awareness, social responsibility and impulse control. We are only able to accept ambulatory participants at this time.
Improve cognitive skills by using planning and judgement skills, memory, attention and the ability to put concepts to use.
Horses naturally mirror emotion. Participants learn to identify emotional thoughts and feelings by working alongside equine partners.
Benefit from improved balance, strength, flexibility and motor skill development.
Build social skills by bonding with equine partners and volunteers.
Meet the instructor - Sarah Dwyer, PATH Intl. Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor
Sarah received her PATH Intl. instructor certification in 2016 while working both with a start-up therapeutic riding center and as an intern at a large PATH center. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree from Lake Erie in 2018 in Business Administration/ Equine Entrepreneurship concentrated in Therapeutic Horsemanship. Formerly the Riding Director for a local camp program, Sarah enjoys teaching new riders. She is currently a Graduate Assistant at the college pursuing an MBA and working as the assistant coach of the college’s successful IHSA Hunt Seat Equestrian Team. Sarah has been riding and working at various barns in Michigan and Ohio for most of her life.
Meet the instructor - Melissa Hauserman
Melissa Hauserman, MBA, PATH Intl. Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor and Equine Specialist in Mental Health & Learning, and Certified EAGALA Equine Specialist, has more than 10 years of experience teaching therapeutic riding and leading equine assisted activities for people with special needs. In addition to teaching at Lake Erie College Theraeutic Riding Center she is the President and founder of a center that focuses on providing mental heath services including Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and Learning. Melissa’s passion is creating innovative equine facilitated programs to serve people with emotional and physical needs. Previously she served as the Director of Program Quality for one of the largest therapeutic horsemanship centers in North America. She has owned and managed several horse facilities and worked for corporations including Michelin and American Express.
“The Therapeutic riding class that I took last semester with Melissa Hauserman and my classmates was rewarding because I was able to watch the kids grow and become stronger in their core, listening skills, and overall balance. Some even progressed into two point, halting, trotting, and many other skills that were very fun and rewarding to teach. I highly recommend this class and can't wait to take it again in my senior year!”
Maddie Long ‘22
"Bradley is much more calm and relaxed during riding. Also, his balance has improved. He's also communicating with the instructors much more! It seems he's more focused and following directions better too."
“I have personally found the therapeutic riding class to not only be eye-opening but also inspirational. Helping anyone in need, especially children with disabilities in this case, is always rewarding. I have loved learning how to work with each one of the students' unique needs, and watching them respond positively to the horses. Seeing them progress each week makes it all worthwhile, and I especially love watching the incredible bond they continue to create with the horses.”
Maddie Anderson ‘19
Therapeutic Horsemanship is exciting because it helps people find and nurture the best parts of themselves: strength, courage, confidence, empathy and much more.
Interested in Volunteering?
Whether you have horse experience or are new to working with horses, we are happy to prepare you to be a part of our program. Volunteers will attend a minimum of two, 1 ½ hour orientation and training sessions prior to volunteering.